Lakers' Anthony Davis: NBA Bubble Opener vs. Clippers 'Felt Like a Real Game'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2020

Los Angeles Lakes' Anthony Davis warms up prior to an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

There were no fans, no Staples Center championship banners, and assistant coaches and players wearing masks on the benches.

Yet Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis didn't sense too much of a difference during his team's 103-101 victory over the L.A. Clippers in Thursday's contest at Walt Disney World Resort.

"It felt like a real game to me, two teams battling," he said, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. "... Can't complain for the first game."

He also addressed the atmosphere while speaking with Spectrum SportsNet (around 1:20): "It wasn't that bad. When you're out there playing, you're locked into the game and don't hear anything else."

Davis was locked in Thursday, finishing with 34 points and eight rebounds while shooting 16-of-17 from the free-throw line. He had no trouble with a Clippers frontcourt that was missing Montrezl Harrell, consistently attacking the combination of Joakim Noah, Patrick Patterson and Ivica Zubac.

He was the best player for extended stretches with LeBron James going an ugly 6-of-19 from the field, but the King followed his own miss and scored the winning basket with 12.8 seconds left before locking down Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the final possession that ended with the latter missing a three.

The Lakers are now 6.5 games ahead of the Clippers for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with seven seeding games remaining for each L.A. team.

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It appeared as if the Clippers were going to cruise to victory when they built a double-digit lead in the third quarter, but Davis scored 10 points in the final three minutes of that third quarter as the Lakers cut the lead to one before winning in the fourth.

The Clippers can at least take solace knowing they will likely have Lou Williams and Harrell if they face each other again in the playoffs after both were out for Thursday's game.

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